Bento Baon: Tanabata (Star Festival)

Tanabata Matsuri, or Star Festival, is an annual celebration in Japan inspired by a Chinese legend about star-crossed lovers separated by the Milky Way Galaxy who can only meet once a year on Tanabata Day (July 7).

The Japanese celebrate Tanabata by writing down their wishes onto pieces of paper and hanging them on leafy stalks of bamboo adorned with colorful decorations.

I’m a bit late, but here’s my Tanabata-inspired bento.The little piggies are made out of “maling,” which is like an Asian version of Spam. I got this can of maling at the Asian store, but I’m not sure why it says “Product of Holland;” I always thought it’s from China.No matter, it’s still the same taste I’m familiar with. The side dishes in my bento include homemade pork dumplings, ham, mini pepper, roasted asparagus and hard-boiled egg. The maling piggies are resting over fried rice mixed with cauliflower rice, carrots, and corn. 

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